Vice President Mike Pence shared how much the Trump administration cares in honoring all Americans who served in the armed forces in a Veterans Day op-ed tribute on Sunday.
Veterans Day, which originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, marked the end of WWI a year prior — becoming a national holiday in 1938, and in 1954 the name was changed.
As of 2017, there were 18.2 million men and women who were veterans — consisting of 3.4 percent of WWII veterans, 8.1 percent of Korean War veterans, and 35.7 percent of Vietnam era veterans.
“We have marked this day since the guns of the First World War fell silent on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month exactly 100 years ago today,” Pence began writing in his op-ed.
The vice president shared how nearly 50 million Americans have offered “blood, toil, tears and sweat in service to our country”:
“The debt our nation owes those who have worn the uniform is a debt we will never be able to fully repay. But just as those courageous men and women have fought for us, our entire administration has fought for them.”
Pence explained that “veterans have no better friend than President Trump.”
Pence shared that the Trump administration understands that veterans’ benefits are “not entitlements,” but they are “ongoing compensation” for those who serve in U.S. uniform.
“We’ve taken decisive action to make good on our promise to the heroes who’ve served,” he added.
In September, President Donald Trump signed a spending bill of $208.8 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the fiscal year 2019, which will also provide some funding to the VA Mission Act to “expand private-sector medical care for veterans starting in July 2019.”
“This law will also improve the VA’s ability to recruit and retain quality health-care professionals, give veterans access to walk-in care, and expand health-care choices, including options for telehealth and mental health services,” Pence wrote.
Pence added that the Trump administration has made efforts to end veteran homelessness. In fact, in 2017, 54,000 veterans found homes and were given the accessibility to supportive services.
“Our actions are having a real impact on the men and women who have sacrificed for our country: health-care wait times are down, VA accountability is up, and under our administration unemployment among veterans has reached its lowest level in nearly two decades,” Pence wrote.
Honoring those who continue to serve in the U.S. military, Pence explained, “We are once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen the resources and training they need to accomplish their mission.”
“The United States of America remains the land of the free because we are still the home of the brave.”
The vice president urged fellow Americans to take the day to “extend your hand, look them in the eye, and say those words that every veteran deserves to hear: ‘Thank you for your service.'”